Sky offers the most comprehensive multi-channel, multi-platform digital television service in the UK and Ireland. Their customer contact centres employ around 6,000 people, who handle up to a million calls a week.
These calls are a crucial touch-point for customers. The usability of the call centre systems impacts the effectiveness and efficiency with which the agent can handle a call, which in turn has a subsequent effect on the satisfaction that the end-customer has with their customer service experience. Through anecdotal feedback, Sky understood that the call centre experience could be improved and asked us to help evaluate, research and design some critical aspects of the contact centre platform’s functionality.
We initially conducted ethnographic research and a contextual enquiry. This included:
- Observing how the technical support team uses the system.
- Listening in to their calls.
- Speaking with them to understand their problems or frustrations with the system.
This contextual approach proved valuable, giving us insight that would not have been uncovered through interviews alone. We then presented the Sky team with a diagnosis of the key issues and practical recommendations for improvements.
We designed potential solutions to the observed issues, creating interactive prototypes which were tested with call centre agents. This allowed us to evaluate the design as we progressed, enabling continual improvement throughout the process. The designs were then implemented by the technical team at Sky and rolled out across the contact centres.
Staff feedback confirmed that the improvements implemented have had a positive effect, leading to reduced call times and higher customer satisfaction. An additional benefit was that, by making the process more intuitive, new recruit training became more efficient, reducing onboarding costs.
This work for Sky is a good example of how improving the usability of internal systems and processes can have a positive impact on the end customer experience.